Where Have All the Boy’s Clothes Gone??

Dallin has been growing like a weed this summer. We are already on a new pair of sandals, up a diaper size, and buying all new clothes for him because everything else is stretched to the limits (he’s kind of a skinny kid, but he’s kind of long, too). The worst is pajamas. We are seriously stretching his little summer pajamas (they are a lot like rompers… one piece, short-sleeved, short-legged, with snaps at the bottom like a onesie for easy diaper changing access) as we try to snap them up. They pull at him, and it honestly doesn’t look all that comfortable. I’d let him sleep in just a diaper (it is SO hot out!!), but I’m afraid of him taking the diaper off in the middle of the night or something. So on Friday, I piled the kids in the van and we headed out to find Dallin some new pajamas (and see what other clothes might be on sale.).

My first stop was Old Navy. When Aiden was a newborn up to about 2 years old, I think he was dressed in almost exclusively Old Navy. They had such good bargains, good regular prices, the clothes didn’t wear out easily, and I could find anything I wanted and I liked everything they had.

Something has happened at Old Navy in the last few years, though. The quality of the clothing has deteriorated (I have several friends here in town that have said the same thing and won’t buy Old Navy jeans for their boys anymore). The selection of boys clothing is the worst. I walked into the store to find that they had rearranged a bit. The entire back area was girls’ clothing. The signs showed one corner that was for newborn to toddler boys, and really it was only about two small racks of clothing. The only pajamas I could find were pink (very definitely girl!!), there were no shoes, mainly the same t-shirts they have had since April, and a bunch of denim shorts. What happened??

We then went to the mall. I checked out Gap Kids and Baby Gap. Now, they were obviously renovating their store as there weren’t even a whole lot of adult clothes in the store (all the Gap stores are in one place in our mall), but there was literally NO little boys’ clothes. I went the the Children’s Place, and while they still had more girls’ clothes than boys, they still had a pretty good selection when it came to variety of styles, sales, and sizes. Because of the sales, I was able to get Dallin one pair of pajamas, a sleeveless romper, and some sandals for Aiden, and I only spent $10.17. I think I did well there. We headed over to Gymboree, and while they had a pretty good selection of boys’ clothing (although yet again, the majority of the store was for girls!!), their prices are just too expensive for me. I’m sorry, but WHY would you pay $20 for a pair of pajamas that they will only wear for a few short months before A) the weather has completely changed and they need winter pajamas, and B) the kid will outgrow the pajamas anyway?!

After we got home, I went online and searched both OldNavy.com and Gap.com, but still found it lacking in boys’ clothing. I don’t understand. Do clothing manufacturers think boys only make up less than 1% of the population or something?

I understand that it is easier to come up with a variety of styles for girls, but honestly, most of those styles are ugly anyway! These little girls are now being dressed like their older, teenage sisters. Their teenage sisters are dressing like 20-something year old college students, and these college students are dressing like they are going clubbing rather than going to class or the grocery store! Toddler girls should NOT be wearing low-rise jeans and belly-baring shirts. Most adults really shouldn’t either (I’m sorry, but your stomach isn’t as pretty as you think it is.). And what is it with thongs for 8 year olds?? Completely inappropriate. I also hate all the little t-shirt slogans. It’s bad enough to see a 21 year old with a t-shirt that says “b*tch” or “MILF in training”, but to see it on younger girls? The “spoiled rotten” and “princess” t-shirts still send out the wrong message as far as I’m concerned. Oh, and I absolutely hate the ones that say things like, “Tell your boyfriend I said thank you”. In some ways, I’m glad to have boys. I don’t want these messages on their chests, or clothes that are only made to show off the body in completely inappropriate ways and make 12 year olds think they are sexy.

Which brings me back to boys clothing (the actual point of this post). Unless you want to see my boys running around naked (which may be okay at this age, but Aiden starts kindergarten in just a year, so I really need him going to school in something decent!), I need to see more merchandise for boys!! Until they get their standards of quality and quantity back, I don’t think I’ll be shopping at Old Navy anytime soon.


18 responses to “Where Have All the Boy’s Clothes Gone??

  1. I totally heay ya!!! Old Navy use to have great stuff for kids…what happened? I have a 2 year old boy and can’t find anything for him there anymore.

    I just had a girl, she’s nearly 3 months…I have seen the thongs and it totally freaks me out!!! NO WAY will I ever buy those for her…and the low rise jeans…UGH!!! What are the manufacturers thinking???

  2. Cookie dough in hand I think I’m ready to unleash my feelings on the issue…

    Since I first stepped foot in the baby stores I’ve noticed the imbalance. It’s pretty clear that all designers are focusing on girls clothes and not at all on boys clothes.

    Old Navy is a pet peeve not only for the imbalance (because at least our store is not quite as bad as yours! -yet) but because the boys clothes are mostly UGLY! I don’t need to spend $8 on a t-shirt with some stupid/ugly logo on it. Is there no style anymore? Old Navy aside, there are a lot of brands doing the same thing, making ugly, overpriced boys clothes.

    The girls clothes definitely receive more attention, but as you already hinted, the baby-designers are trying to grow up our babies too quickly. I don’t have a daughter, but I weap for all the parents of girls who have to sift through the hoochie clothes to try to find something that will cover the diaper.

    I think I need to pick up the sewing machine and really learn how to sew. But in the meantime I shop the sales and pick through everything in hopes of dressing my son as nicely as possible given the options. Once Upon A Child all the way — bring on that Ralph Lauren Baby at Children’s Place prices!

  3. As a rule for my girls I have to buy all their shirts 1-2 sizes bigger so that they won’t flaunt their stomachs when they raise their arms. Last year I had a terrible time finding shirts with out logos on them. I finally found a bunch at Wal-mart that were at least decent, and they even lasted fine through the school year. As far as boys go, I am just greatful for clothes passed to us from Paul’s bro who has 3 boys, they are in excellent condition (most brand-new that were passed to them because they had boys, and they didn’t need them), so no shopping on that front for me in a while. School shopping for the girls however, I am just not looking forward too.

    I could go off on a tangent forever, and while you are right that there are a lot more girl clothes out there, most of them are indecent. I sew, but I have a hard time finding the time with the kids (maybe this year with 2 in school full day I’ll be able to manage it better)

  4. I’ve been complaining about the inequality of boys/girls clothes to my family for about six years. But you’re right, it’s getting ever worse. Take the new JCPenney Kids’ catalog: 22 pages for boys, 32 pages for girls. And heck, JCPenney’s isn’t the worst example, by any means! But the statements on the shirts have been driving me beserk for the last few years. The girls’ are admittedly worse, but even the boys’ are atrocious. “My parents think I’m sleeping!” … “School again? I just went yesterday”… It’s gametime; have a ball!” … “My dog ate my homework” … “If I throw a stick, will you go away?”… (those are just the boys’ shirts, size 10-12, this year, this season, for JCP). The JCP girls’ shirts say: “Is there a point, or are you just babbling?”… “Give me five, support my shopping habit” … “Buy me something!” … “Too much Princess for you”… And I recall yesterday growing remarkably ticked off because one boys’ shirt at JCPenney used an apostrophe where one wasn’t needed! (Ok, I’m a nerd. Moving on: )

    Do kids seriously want to wear this stuff? I don’t know. My cousin, who is a decade younger than I am, just gave me all of her old jeans (which look new!). They fit, but they’re all low-rider. I kept telling Mr.Angel, “They make me feel like my butt is hanging out..” (which it might have been!) … I told my sister-in-law, “How can you stand this (she wears low-rider, too)? I feel unsupported!” lol (But it’s the TRUTH!! Hello! I’ve had two kids?!)

    ALL Of the stores sell more girls’ clothes than boys’. I asked Mr.Angel three days ago, “What? Do they think boys just don’t care what they wear, and that they’re willing to repeat shirts after four days?!”

    And that brings me to hair. What is WITH these little boys with girl-hair? They’re little BOYS, people. CUT the hair! MY boys will only be going to school with the short hair they should have.

    I say *spit* on these new styles. I suppose this has been a common refrain down throughout the ages, that people are allowing the kids’ morals, character, clothes, and style to go to heck, but hey. I really think this generation has a valid gripe as well. And they should GRIPE it. Sariah, I triple-dare you to complain to Old Navy. In fact, I’ll join you if you do!

    Is this seriously what clothing companies think we WANT? Or is this the clothing companies trying to drive us in a new direction?!

    (I, too, have been shopping a lot more at Wal-mart, where at least I can be sure the boys’ underwear doesn’t say something way-naughty)


  5. No. Not finished. You see, it’s more than that. Have any of you been watching the children’s cartoon-trends the past few years? Disney isn’t fabulous, but gets a better rating from me (*only slightly*!) than the rest. The Cartoon Network’s animations are over-the-top. Sexual-innuendo; some are just plain nasty. The Japanese animations are over-the-top in this way: Watch them sometime. Count the number of times one character looks at another angrily. It’s about every four seconds! Do you think for an instant that has no effect on our babies? Children looking at animated children angrily every four seconds?


    Don’t dismiss it. It IS important. And someone needs to do something about it soon. I’m not Mormon, as maybe most of Sariah’s friends are, but I’m religious and I’m willing to fight this! Someone point me in the direction.

    For starters, my children are no longer allowed to watch television without my permission.


  6. Angel – I’ve always put limits on my kids tv, and we’ve actually avoided cable so they aren’t tempted to watch stuff they shouldn’t. I approve most shows on PBS and on Sat. morning I let them watch the Nick Junior shows on CBS, but I know my oldest will be outgrowing it quickly. To rememdy the situation I have invested in DVDs (probably more than necessary by other’s view, but compared to what they pay in cable a month it isn’t much). We have looney toons, goofy, mickey mouse, and other old cartoons and such that I put on when they want cartoons on Sat. morning, etc. I even enjoy watching the old shows with them and they love it! I hope to add “The Muppet Show” into our library soon.

    I mention this because I have been frustrated like you, and I have found this to work well in our family.

  7. Goofy, I have the Muppet show on DVD. πŸ™‚ As soon as they release them, I buy them. Also, try what’s called “Boomerang” (I think it’s on the Cartoon Network.) It’s the old stuff: Yogi Bear, Pink Panther, Tom & Jerry. It plays on Sunday or Saturday. (Don’t ask me, but my oldest kid knows; he tapes it. He knows what are “inappropriate cartoons,” and what aren’t πŸ™‚


  8. You have found a way to rally us all around you Sariah… I have been shopping at Walmart for years because of the cheap prices and I was broke… but now that I can afford to shop in other places, I really avoid them anyway. Mostly because of exactly what you have been talking about. It is frustrating.

    As for TV, I do the same thing as GoofyJ. PBS durring the week, Nic JR. on CBS on Saturday. I also pick up some old DVD’s whenever I can. My little Ponies are a family favorite around here πŸ™‚

  9. I have resigned myself to the fact that stores won’t carry much in the boy department. I don’t know why I expected any different becuse when you look at the ratio of female boutiques to male, the numbers can be staggering. So why should it be any different in childrens stores?

    As for the choices out there your right there is not much unless you want to pay a pretty penny, but if I had enough pretty pennies to buy tem what they needed I would already ouwn a house. So whats a mom to do? I think its time for me to start sewing again. I can make some pretty decent PJs, shorts oreven a pair of jeans that will actually fit my sons’ skinny waists. As for the shirts I need to practice. If I plan things right boys everywhere will be wearing “Boys By Alyson” (BBA) fo short. Girls will be so envious (you like that Karen) that I’ll have to come up with “Girls By Alyson” Then I ‘ll take over the worl one belly button at a time.

  10. well, i’m neither a kid haver, or clothes maker but i’m now skeered of the mad mommies uniting.

    MMU for short.

    hey, there’s a logo for someone’s next line of clothing…


    (don’t kill me. i’m amused by nature, not because i think the topic should be taken light heartedly.)

  11. There are fewer boys clothes anyway, but what little there are are also being bought by mothers of girls who (justifiably) don’t like the girls’ designs.

    Personally I think some of the phrases on T-shirts are cute. (My son has one that says, “For Sale: My Parents. Buy One Get One Free.” I’m not sure if others would find that offensive, but I find it hilarious.) But I also know we don’t have quite the same amount of choice here that’s available in the U.S. (I saw some stuff when we were in Las Vegas that really made me queasy.)

    Finally, regarding jealousy vs. envy, to anyone who now chooses to associate my name with those words, I will smile the blog equivalent of a wry smile at you if that’s what you want; but the absolute truth of the matter is that I ignore the distinction between those words when anyone else (other than myself) uses them.

  12. I very much dislike the logo shirts. Being the mother of a boy and a girl I did notice when I only had a boy that there were more clothes for girls than boys. But I got over it, I realized that boys only need the basic esentials that can mix and match. Shirts, shoes, pants, and shorts. I won’t buy jeans from Old Navy anymore, W puts holes in the knees WAY too fast, and sometimes I can’t find something that fits W (my) style but just have to wait a few weeks and they have new stuff.

    Then I became the mother of a girl, there are pants, skirts, shorts, dresses, t-shirts, blouses, shoes, tons of clothes for little girls. There are some things that I absolutely won’t buy, and I won’t buy the shirts with the logos, but it looks like besides Julia I’m the only one with a toddler girl. Do you think I dress my little girl like a scank?

  13. hey Sariah, I hope you don’t mind, I started the poetry blog up again, I was really missing reading everyone’s stuff and writing myself. let me know when you are ready to start posting the assignments (I know you are bit preoccupied of late, gee I wonder why, heh) πŸ™‚ and i will gladly place it back into your fully capable hands (much more capable than mine). I’ve missed reading your poetry though, so if you ever feel up to writing, even though your not up to doing the assignments and everything, I know we would all love to read your stuff. πŸ™‚

  14. Oh, my kids watch PBS, too. “Sesame Street,” and “Between the Lions”…sometimes I can even get the youngest to watch “Reading Rainbow.” And our eldest LOVES “Nova” and the documentaries on scientists, etc.

    Also, my eldest has been watching a great deal of the History Channel. All of those tanks and planes, I suspect. And architecture and bridges. He’s into science and engineering.

    (I didn’t want anyone to think that I only ply their tender brains with cartoon garbage!…I don’t. I find things on Discovery Network and other occasionally-decent channels in order to stimulate their thinking.)


  15. As I’ve had to do more shopping for my son (he really grows way too fast as he’s now wearing sizes of kids twice his age) I’ve noticed this lack of boy’s clothes as well. I’ve been joking with my hubby about designing a line of kids clothes, maybe I should quit joking. Anyone want to help? I’m good at design, but the sewing is a little more difficult for me :).

    Luckily for me I don’t have to really worry about the tv thing yet. Mine is still a little young to care about watching it. Unfortunately I think I’m probably quickly running out of time with that, so it’s good to hear all the suggestions.

  16. Sorry, Lura…I could think of the creative stuff, too, but any sewing I do is always by hand. I don’t know how to work a sewing machine properly; it runs away with me, snags, and I detect cruel thoughts emanating from it. I’m positive it wants to eat me, or at least to maim me….

    See! It’s looking at me…


  17. My wife and I have a hard time find clothes for our boys. It seems like almost everywhere the clothes either have logos or some other picture of some sort on it. My wife does not even go out looking for clothes anymore she mostly just shops online now for there clothes. She spends alot of money at tempertantrums.net . But what do I know I’m just a guy.

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